Friday, June 15, 2007


A large hospital. In central London. But other than that, completely unremarkable. Or is it?

St.Mary's Hospital lies on Praed Street, (the road that connects Edgware Road to Paddington Station if you like), on which thousands upon thousands of people walk every day.

Right past the hospital.

Right past the unassuming purple plaque you can see beneath the windows on the wall of the hospital in my photo.

Click on the photo and read the plaque above the bloke in the blue shirt, walking past, (if you haven't already). (NB. You might not be able to click on the photo and read the plaque - if you can't, you'll just have to take my word for it, or the next time you find yourself in Paddington with five minutes to spare - check it out for yourself).

Two windows up from that plaque, in a dusty, cramped laboratory overlooking Praed Street, is the room that if not the greatest discovery ever was made, surely the greatest medicinal discovery ever?

It was here, in 1928, that the Scottish bacteriologist, Alexander Fleming, discovered Penicillin in a petri dish, and the world was changed forever, (although, to be absolutely fair, it was an Australian and a Nazi refugee who developed it into the drug we know today).

You'd walk right by it if you weren't looking. (Even though the ACTUAL room through the same window, has now been 'restored' to its dusty cramped, original condition and is now a museum of sorts).

Like I say, the window on one of the greatest discoveries ever made. In an unassuming dirty great hospital, right next to Paddington station....

NB. Praed Street for your information is also the ONLY place I've ever been given a weeks notice in my job (actually on the street, right opposite Fleming's window)- whilst I was fundraising. Not great memories!!!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

st. mary's hospital information is well done HOWEVER,and most important is to have a telephone number on the webpage for those of us that wish to contact the hospital.

Please provide me with the hospital telephone number.

I live in california and desperately need to contact them.
thank you.

Dr. G. Amadeo